Let’s Talk – Body Talk. How influenced are you by the media?

It seems that so many woman, young women especially, are getting THE WRONG IMAGE.

media-body-image

 This post came about after hearing Amanda de Cadenet (The Conversation) ask her viewers if they feel that the media affects how they perceive their bodies? Her alternative web based TV series is about women who have stories & experiences to share, for women to empower women. It got me thinking.  Is seems unhealthy to constantly compare yourself, your life, etc. to others yet how many times have we done so?

Please do not buy into this. Especially do not buy.

Please do not buy into this.

The physical images presented in media programming and advertising can be unhealthy and difficult, if not impossible, for most women to achieve. They frequently portray young women in a sexual manner. This can lead adolescents to think that their own bodies are not attractive or acceptable and that their value depends on how they look.

Growing numbers of young women risk their health, and life, trying to imitate the body images presented by the media. The wrong media messages also can harm mental self-image and self-esteem.

The media generally show underweight women as the ideal body type. The average model today is 25% thinner than the national average weight and actually only represents 5% of females in the country.

Almost 54% of American young girls and women aged 12–23 years are unhappy with their bodies.

Five to ten million women and girls have eating disorders that harm their health, including anorexia nervosa (starving themselves) and bulimia nervosa (binge eating and purging).  Some teens who think they are not pretty enough resort to cosmetic plastic surgery. They also tend to have unrealistic and negative expectations concerning sexuality.

How do we overcome this short of never looking at another magazine or watching TV?

For starters: try to make yourself aware of the media messages aimed at women and young people. Assess your own use of media and reactions to messages about attractiveness and self-worth. Don’t forget that while we don’t come with an airbrush it’s still worthwhile to eat a healthy diet and exercise to maintain good overall health. Young women as early as possible should be encouraged to participate in positive family, peer & school activities to enhance self-esteem based on their abilities and character rather than their appearance.  You will automatically appear more attractive by doing so.

Since when did character not count for anything?  What is a pretty face & perfect body without personality? Yes, let’s agree that we would all prefer to have it all Giselle?but why not try to accentuate all the other great attributes we either have or can attain?

And realize that you DO NOT have to drink a certain brand of beer, use a precise product, carry a specific IT bag or “anything” else as the commercials say, to have more fun or be beautiful.

What are your thoughts?

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